Professors from the School of Engineering are the only Portuguese in a UN group on the state of conservation of the oceans

The Global Ocean Accounts Partnership aims to establish the state of marine ecosystems and the social and economic impact they have on communities and countries where they operate

 Tiago Miranda and Eduardo Pereira, professors of the Department of Civil Engineering of EEUM, are the only Portuguese members of the “Global Ocean Accounts Partnership” group. This working group is promoted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), a regional commission under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The objective of the group, which includes about 200 experts from all over the world, is to develop a methodology for Ocean Accounting that can be used by all countries. Ocean Accounting is a holistic methodology that will establish the state of marine ecosystems and the social and economic impact they have on communities and countries. According to researchers this will be an essential document to define sustainable policies for the exploitation of marine resources and to ensure their preservation.

“The invitation came as a result of the work we have been developing at IB-S in the area of the Sea and by IB-S to have been chosen, among several entities that develop research in this field in Portugal, as one of the National Poles of the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR – Center), which is an international organization focused on sustainable development anchored in the Atlantic Ocean,” reveals Tiago Miranda, also Director of IB-S – Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability. This research unit of the University of Minho is a partnership between the Center for Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA) and the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Engineering Structures (ISISE), where Eduardo Pereira is also a researcher.

The work of this group started in 2018 and is currently preparing the first version of the document for discussion. “There is still a long way ahead given the difficulties inherent in defining a methodology of this nature and with this impact that can be adopted by all countries. The work is expected to be completed by 2025”, reveal the researchers.

“We face this invitation and this challenge with great pride, enthusiasm and sense of responsibility regarding the global importance that the result of this work will have in the sustainable management of the Oceans. And we are committed to representing Portugal and the University of Minho well in a process that is of extreme importance for a sustainable future of the planet, equal to the unique historical maritime dimension of Portugal. Our country belongs to the restricted club of the 20 largest in the world when considering the size of its Exclusive Maritime Economic Area!”, say the researchers.

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